A survey by the Association of Graduate Recruiters consisting of 222 organisations has found that there was an 8.9% increase in the number of graduates recruited compared with 2009 levels.
Between them the organisations recruited close to 21,000 graduates in 2010 and predictions are optimistic for 2011 with a 3.8% growth expected.
The sector with the highest predicted growth is the Consulting and Business firms who predict an 88.1% increase in vacancies for 2011 however a decrease in a number of other sectors is less encouraging, including a 16.4% decline amongst accountancy sector firms.
The reasons that firms gave for such high increases in vacancies is based on:
- Anticipated growth in business
- An increasing strategic focus on graduate recruitment
- Actual growth in business in 2010
Unfortunately for graduates there is not expected to be a rise in starting salaries however how this will change, once the first set of graduates begin to come through who have paid the higher rate of tuition fees (as outlined in the report by Lord Browne), is still unknown.
56% of graduate recruiters are unsure how the Browne report will affect graduate recruitment in the future however it is predicted that graduates will expect a higher starting salary to compensate for the higher level of student debt they will have and there may be fewer graduates from the lower socio economic groups.
It was also revealed that there could be an impact on non-STEM subject graduates following the tuition fees reform.
However Ernst and Young warned against too much of a focus on graduates with degrees specifically for a particular position. E&Y identified that at graduate recruitment level 60% of their vacancies are filled by graduates with a relevant degree however when it comes to management level this number drops to 40%.
Marketing budgets were also revealed at the AGR event and showed that they would be dropping slightly to an average of £22,000 per anum, meaning that marketers need to think more carefully about how they can best target students for their graduate recruitment needs.
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